The UK government announced today an expansion of the higher apprenticeships scheme to include sectors such as aviation, low carbon engineering, legal services and space engineering.
In the second round of the GBP25m higher apprenticeships initiative the government will support the development of 4,230 new placements to help people train to become commercial airline pilots, lawyers, accountants and engineers.
Higher apprenticeships allow people to pursue degree-level study while working in their chosen industry. One of the benefits of the scheme is widening participation, ensuring that opportunities are not limited to the privileged and also helping to “break down the doors of professions that are not representative of the society in which we live,” Business Secretary Vince Cable commented.
According to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, higher apprenticeships enable the government to drive economic growth by targeting specific sectors where advanced skills gaps have been identified.
Employers such as British Airways, Siemens, Centrica, Unilever, PricewaterhouseCoopers and the UK Space Agency are involved in the scheme.
Neil Carberry, the CBI’s director for Employment and Skills, welcomed the new higher apprenticeships as a way of guarding against future skills shortages in key sectors. He also remarked that higher apprenticeships can be a very good route to a successful career, as participants can build higher level skills while learning on-the-job with an employer.